Stock Identification Methods Working Group (SIMWG).

Type Article
Date 2020
Language English
Author(s) ICES
Contributor(s) Mahe KeligORCID
Source ICES Scientific Reports/Rapports scientifiques du CIEM (2618-1371) (ICES), 2020 , Vol. 2 , N. 94 , P. 32p.
DOI 10.17895/

The Stock Identification Methods Working Group (SIMWG) reviews new methods for the definition and investigation of stock structure and provides advice to other ICES expert groups on how to interpret patterns of population structure. The identification of the spatial boundaries of exploited stocks is a fundamental requirement before any stock assessment or modelling can be contemplated, and therefore lies at the heart of resource management. SIMWG continues to provide annual updates on recent applications of stock identification methods to species assessed by ICES and on advances in stock identification methods. Based on the wide expertise of SIMWG members, the group provides reviews of recent literature on genetics, growth marks in calcified structures, life history parameters, morphometrics/ meristics, tagging, otolith shape, otolith chemistry, parasites and interdisciplinary approaches. A key activity of SIMWG is to address requests by ICES working groups for technical advice on issues of stock identity. In 2020, the working group reviewed the outcome of the Workshop on Stock Identification of North Sea Cod (WKNSCodID). SIMWG contributes to the general understanding of the biological features of the north Atlantic ecosystem through its work to describe fish population structure. Additionally, SIMWG’s annual reviews on advances in stock identification methods keeps ICES members abreast of best practices in this field of study. SIMWG expert reviews on questions of stock structure for particular ICES species are directly relevant to the appropriate definition of stock and contribute to the accuracy of stock assessment and effectiveness of management actions. We see an important role for SIMWG in the future as ICES copes with the shifting distributions of fishery resources and questions regarding the appropriate definition of fish stocks. Understanding stock structure is a fundamental requirement before any assessment or modelling on a stock can be contemplated and SIMWG will continue to work with ICES expert groups to address pressing stock identification issues.

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